Top Gunns

For the first time, this year’s Gunn Report has included interactive work in its calculations of the most-awarded advertising of the past 12 months. What does it tell us about the state of the industry?

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For the first time, this year’s Gunn Report has included interactive work in its calculations of the most-awarded advertising of the past 12 months. What does it tell us about the state of the industry?

Each year, the Gunn Report gathers together the results of all the major advertising awards schemes around the world, weights them according to relative importance and produces a set of league tables to work out who won the most amusingly-shaped statuettes. Although previously dedicated only to TV and print work, this year it has bowed to the inevitable and included “interactive” work in its calculations (for which, read “websites”). Leading the way is R/GA’s Nike+ project, which picked up a host of major prizes including a D&AD Gold. Although the site works beautifully, it’s the overall idea that excites, bringing Apple and Nike together to create something that is novel, powerful and genuinely useful.

For many creatives, Nike+ points the way to a future in which their companies become not ad agencies but, genuinely, creative agencies. It’s a product idea, not just an advertising execution and certainly not one that is dependant on a clever copyline or a neat visual pun. This is the territory that many of what are currently termed “advertising agencies” want to be in – developing product ideas with clients for which they can (ideally) share the intellectual property rights and help bring to market in whatever way works best.

And if they can’t get a share of that particular pie, they can at least create something that is engaging in the manner of some of the other top-performing interactive work. Gunn, for instance, rates Forsman & Bodenfors’ Come Into The Closet microsite (below) as the second most-awarded interactive ad last year.

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In third place was Crispin Porter’s Golf GTI Features site for VW

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While the brilliant Nike Chain from Framfab in Copenhagen (to my mind easily the best marketing activity around last year’s World Cup) took fourth. Below is a compilation film, but its real genius was in allowing anyone to upload footage of themselves to the site to add to the chain of tricks

Note that these are all based around websites and are not “digital advertising” in the sense of banners or skyscrapers. Gunn is yet to embrace that field, sharing the general sniffyness in the ad world about the latter’s quality, perhaps. Gunn may also have made a good call in terms of identifying the bias of future activity. Media owners have, to their immense relief been able to offset the fall in print and TV advertising by pulling in handsome revenues from banners etc on their websites. But for advertisers surely the better model is to cut out the middleman and create their own sites that consumers will choose to spend time with and go directly to, without clicking through expensive ads on third party sites. Hopefully, and I say this as someone writing on a site that very much welcomes advertising, consumers will still need help in getting to these advertiser sites, which is where the banner will continue to have a role.

After all the excitement of the interactive section, good old TV suffers slightly – we know how this stuff works, we’ve been watching it for years. But it still does work, even if its role now is often to point viewers to a website or, as with the most-awarded commercial of last year, Sony Paint, it relies heavily on the internet as a distribution medium.

The second most-awarded spot was Leo Burnett Italia’s effort for the Ariston Aqualtis washing machine – apparently sales went up 30% during the time that it was on air.

Then came Happiness Factory for Coke by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam

Followed by a big fave in the CR office, TBWAChiatDay NY’s Skittles campaign that includes the wonderful Trade

And what about print? Top of the tree was this campaign for Clima Bicycle Locks by Leo Burnett Bangkok

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Followed by Marmite Squeezy from DDB London

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And, in joint third place, the 42 Below Vodka and Stuffit Deluxe ads from Saatchi NY

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And in fifth comes Ogilvy & Mather Singapore’s East Timor Tourism campaign

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Note that the Misereor campaign that, in surely the year’s quirkiest bit of judging, took a Gold at D&AD, comes in at 45th in Gunn’s list

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One other quirk is that the year’s most talked about ad, Dove Evolution, doesn’t top any of the tables (it made 7th spot in TV & Cinema and 6th in Interactive). Presumably this is due to the fact that juries didn’t really know how to categorise it: a film that was viewed almost exclusively on the web and yet had no interactive element.

It did produce some great spoofs though

Which all goes to ensure that the US was the year’s most awarded country (UK second, Argentina third, then Brazil), Nike the year’s most awarded advertiser (VW 2nd, Sony 3rd), MJZ the most awarded production company (followed by Phenomena in Bangkok and Gorgeous in London), Thanonchai Sornsrivichai the top director (again, Tom Kuntz 2nd, Ivan Zacharias 3rd) and TBWAChiatDay top agency (Saatchi NY 2nd, DDB London 3rd, Dentsu and Fallon London joint 4th).

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